What stories do you tell with your graphics? — De Amicis

Marius Popescu
2 min readJan 28, 2021

Part of the Tiny Graphics project published by Marius Popescu for De Amicis.

How could a podcast discuss data visualizations?

I love listening to podcasts. Business and marketing podcasts such as Akimbo, Startups For the Rest of Us, or The Three Months Vacation podcast. However, for the longest time, I did not even search for data visualization, infographics or graphics podcasts.

See, I could not even imagine that one could talk about these topics, as they are highly visual. I am happy to report that recently I have found a couple of interesting episodes and even whole podcasts on these very topics.

Why do we have trouble even imagining that there are solutions for our own very problems? Sometimes, the answer is quite simple: the solution exists, we just do not see it. This happens when

  • the author explains the solution using long articles lacking graphics (so the readers skim over the long text and flee)
  • the solution does not appear or work as the users might have imagined it (so they never search for the existing solution)
  • the author uses visuals, readers are attracted to them, but the visual do not tell a story or the story do not relate to the reader

Let’s take the example of a story-telling infographic:

What happened during the first 20 years of the Linux operating system (Linux Foundation infographic, 2011)

This infographic tells a story and here are a couple of good points:

  • Each tiny graphic composing the infographic tells a smaller story, which can exist by themselves without any problem
  • There is a story thread linking all tiny graphic blocks
  • The blocks compare before/after situations, building the arguments for using the proposed solution

However, there are also points where this infographic shows some common data visualization sins:

  • The story is not (always) about the reader
  • This usually happens because there is more than one intended audience (here, developers, end-users and business partners)
  • Weak (or non-existent) call to action — the biggest challenge for the platform could have led to a call to action for interested developers or partners

Your turn now

Take a graphic from one of your articles, or one from your product dashboard. What is the story being told?

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Originally published at https://de-amicis.com on January 28, 2021.



Marius Popescu

Healthcare applications & integrated components: growth charts http://growthxp.com, family history http://pedigreexp.com and medical decision support systems